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Pauli crystal melting in shaken optical traps

Jiabing Xiang, Paolo Molignini, Miriam Büttner, Axel U. J. Lode

SciPost Phys. 14, 003 (2023) · published 13 January 2023


Pauli crystals are ordered geometric structures that emerge in trapped noninteracting fermionic systems due to their underlying Pauli repulsion. The deformation of Pauli crystals - often called melting - has been recently observed in experiments, but the mechanism that leads to it remains unclear. We address this question by studying the melting dynamics of $N=6$ fermions as a function of periodic driving and experimental imperfections in the trap (anisotropy and anharmonicity) by employing a combination of numerical simulations and Floquet theory. Surprisingly, we reveal that the melting of Pauli crystals is not simply a direct consequence of an increase in system energy, but is instead related to the trap geometry and the population of the Floquet modes. We show that the melting is absent in traps without imperfections and triggered only by a sufficiently large shaking amplitude in traps with imperfections.

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